GREEN BAY - After an extended period away from the facility, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers returned to Lambeau Field on Tuesday as players reported back from their bye-week travels.
Coach Mike McCarthy spoke to the media Tuesday morning and said Rodgers participated in meetings with the rest of the team. Rodgers also jumped into the rehab for his surgically repaired right collarbone after meeting with McCarthy and team physician Patrick McKenzie.
“When he walks in the room, he has great presence,” McCarthy said. “So it’s great to have him back. I think really him stepping away and being out of town, I think, really helped him deal with his situation. But he’s Aaron. I’m not going to say it, but he feels good about the way things are going so far. I got a full, detailed look at everything with him and Dr. McKenzie this morning. Yeah, it’s great having him back in the building.”
Other than placing Rodgers on injured reserve, which requires him to miss a minimum of eight weeks, the Packers have yet to specify an actual timeline for his recovery or comment on the feasibility of a return this season. McCarthy had no additional updates Tuesday.
“I mean, the timeline hasn’t changed,” McCarthy said. “Obviously, Aaron is on IR. So the focus is really for him to go through his rehab and get healthy. So he looks good.”
Now that he has returned from California, Rodgers can work more closely with quarterback Brett Hundley, who will make the second start of his career Monday night against the Detroit Lions. Whether he has tidbits of information on particular opponents or suggestions about particular throws, Rodgers serves as another voice for a player who is treading water after one and a half appearances.
“The biggest thing he can get to Brett is just to play a little faster,” McCarthy said. “ … That’s something as a football team we need to do a better job of. We need to play faster, both offense and defense. So Aaron can assist in that.
“The fact of the matter is we’ve got to get dialed into the game plan (for the Lions), and that process is the same for Aaron that it is for any quarterback. He’ll definitely help Brett with that.”
Hundley remained in Green Bay throughout the bye week as he and McCarthy continue acclimating themselves to each other. McCarthy said Hundley spent extra time at Leambeau Field in the middle of last week and believes the time off was beneficial.
The Packers also will work an extra practice into their week. McCarthy said the team is scheduled to practice Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday, and the extra work can only help Hundley’s chances for success against the Lions.
“He was in here working out pretty much during the course of the week,” McCarthy said. “I think that’s always beneficial when you can step away from the normal schedule and push the focus toward the individual, and he’ll have an extra practice today. We’ll be able to do some situational work, he’ll have an extra two-minute drill that he’ll participate in today. We’ll be able to get into the whole normal down and distance run and pass game today, so he’ll have a head start and have extra work going into the Monday night game.”